Thursday, 19 May 2011

Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer - Book Review

(Sorry readers, since I couldn't find any proper Google Image, I had to scan my own two year old book)

Publisher's write-up






Meet Fletcher Moon. Half-pint schoolboy and fully qualified private investigator. Since graduating online, he's solved all sorts of minor mysteries at home and at school. It was only a matter of time before things got serious.

These are strange days in the town of Lock. Something very special belonging to one April Devereux, has gone missing. Fletcher investigates – and the finger of suspicion is soon pointing firmly in the direction of the shady brothers Herod and Red Sharkey …”

The smallest detective in town on the biggest case of his life.”

Half Moon Investigations is a book written by Eoin Colfer, the author of the best-selling Artemis Fowl series. This book is still, a stand alone but I believe that it is likely to have a sequel considering the contents of the book's epilogue. This is a mystery novel, can be categorised under juvenile fiction. Unlike the other books of Eoin Colfer, this is not fantasy and for a change, he hasn't even tried bringing in any supernatural element.

Since this is a mystery novel, it won't be sensible to mention the protagonists and antagonists in the review. The main characters in this book are Fletcher Moon, Red Sharkey and the Devereux cousins (May and April). Fletcher Moon is a teenage (around twelve) investigator and is a qualified detective who is eligible to be a private detective in the United States as he successfully cleared the online tests set up by the legendary American detective, Bob Bernstein. Since he is a minor, he had to use his father's documents to take up the test and luckily, they share the same name. He is nicknamed “Half Moon” because he is short. Fletcher is a very formal person, his dress-code is different compared to his schoolmates, the way he speaks, his investigating procedures, etcetera. He is not physically strong or athletic. I think, Colfer has tried to make Fletcher a bit like Sherlock Holmes, trying to investigate every minute detail, trying to deduce everything from an empty piece of paper, etcetera. Although he is a qualified detective, he is only mocked by his classmates and not respected. Red Sharkey, is the son of the notorious criminal, Papa Sharkey and because of this background, he is the first suspect for any crime that happens. Unlike Fletcher, he is a very strong person, highly athletic and is also a very good singer. He is also not like his father, he is a bit more responsible and wanted his brother to stop following the footsteps of his father. The Devereux cousins (presumably, with a French descent) are popular, and are said to be pretty. April is a domineering person and she dominates her friends. May is the only one who defies April's orders and is also a dancer.

The story is based in the Irish town, Lock and Fletcher narrates the story. The story starts with a mystery in school, over a petty crime and Fletcher solves it. The objective of the author is maybe to just introduce Fletcher to his readers. The main plot begins very late, when Fletcher has been attacked, very brutally, and he lands up in the hospital with his face completely swollen. Unfortunately, he lands himself into more trouble. In his hand, he saw the impression “RED”(reversed) and immediately accused Red of attacking him with his club since in Red's club, the letters RED were carved. The impression would go off soon and he needed a camera to show his evidence. He knew that May had a camera and her house was very near to the hospital but by the time he reached there, he May's garden was on fire and since he was the only person around, he was accused of being the arsonist. Now, Fletcher had two tasks as a detective, one, finding the one who had assaulted Fletcher and he had assumed that the same person had set fire on May's garden. His second task was to clear himself off the charges and hence, he had to work undercover because the police are looking for him. The story also has a sub-plot which is also quite interesting.

I'd say that the ideal age for reading this book is between 8 – 14. Children in this age group may really find this book interesting but beyond that, people may find the plot to be too dull, even if not, suffers some logical flaws which an eight year old won't think of, such as, a twelve year old managing to deceive a “legendary” detective with his father's documents and getting himself certified, is not very logical (this is not the only one), but it is okay, for the ideal age group. The author managed to keep the book interesting nearly throughout the book and also managed to write a reasonably interesting sub-plot. The language, like any other Eoin Colfer book, has nothing special, but it is good, considering the fact that his target is not adults.

I'd conclude by saying that this book is not great, but it certainly is good. I may have felt this because the people whom I knew had said that this is Eoin Colfer's worst book but fortunately, I read this after reading “The Wish List” and I found this to be far better. Another reason why I liked this book is because every Eoin Colfer book is very similar, just like an old wine in a new bottle and therefore, he has made a decent attempt to expand his horizon. I feel that this is a good book and hence I'm awarding this book a 6/10.

Rating – 6 / 10

Have a nice day,


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